So how was it for you? As an Everton fan Gameweek 11 was tense, stressful but ultimately rewarding. As a Fantasy Football manager things ran pretty smoothly for me as my front 3 of Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Morata and Glenn Murray all did the business and were part of another decent team total. Here we take a look at how the players of particular interest to Draft managers performed over the weekend. Christopher Schindler owners look away now…
Stoke City 2 – 2 Leicester City
Fantasy Football midfielder Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting was deployed up front and although he hasn’t scored since his breakout game against Manchester United in Gameweek 4 he rewarded his manager with his 3rd assist in 5 matches.
On loan PSG man Jesé was only on the bench while FPL Forward Mame Biram Diouf was again deployed at right wing back giving him an 8th consecutive start for the Potters. Shaqiri grabbed a goal and an assist and is finally starting to show some consistency in both fitness and fantasy points. He averages over 4 Points Per Game this season.
For Leicester their flavour of the month Demarai Gray started the match and impressed again. The young Englishman could have had a hat trick of assists if it wasn’t for some wayward finishing by his teammates and is certainly one to consider.
After putting in a good performance in an advanced role in GW10 Defender Ben Chilwell missed out with a minor injury. His replacement in the side was Japanese Forward Shinji Okazaki who once again failed to complete the full 90 minutes. Harry Maguire averages over 4 PPG and he once again showed how dangerous he can be from set pieces by grabbing his 3rd assist of the season. The only Defenders to have more assists in 2017/18 are premium picks Azpilicueta, Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier with 4 a piece.
Huddersfield Town 1 – 0 West Bromwich Albion
In our Friday Free Agents article we predicted that this would be a low scoring affair and Christopher Schindler had a decent chance of a clean sheet and some bonus points. What we failed to mention was that he would get sent off for 2 yellow cards and receive a subsequent 1 match ban. That’s fantasy football for you!
Striker Laurent Depoitre is one of 13 Premier League players called up to the latest Belgium squad and started his 7th consecutive League match, a run during which he has scored twice. Steve Mounie has gone from trendy early season streaming pick to bench warmer. He didn’t make the field today and has played just 41 minutes of League football since GW4.
Another who is failing to live up to August’s hype is Aaron Mooy. Mooy’s more than respectable 41 Points this season is skewed by the fact that 16 of those came in the first 2 weeks, giving him an average of 2.8 PPG since then.
Tom Ince continues to show why he has never made an impact at this level. He has played every minute of every game this season with 0 goals, 1 assist and an average of 2.7 PPG, largely helped by Huddersfield’s 5 Clean Sheets.
Talking of Clean Sheets hands up who drafted goalkeeper Jonas Lössl? Me neither. The Terriers stopper is 2nd in Total Points this season, behind only David De Gea. Their respective average draft positions? 21st for De Gea, 84th for Lössl, with 20 other Goalkeepers in between. Now that’s value, but with 5 away games in the next 8 fixtures I’m not comfortable in recommending you pick up the Huddersfield man, especially when you consider that Chelsea and Manchester City are 2 of the only 3 home games he has left before Christmas.
West Brom are in the midst of a poor run that extends back to last season when they capitulated as soon as they reached the magical 40pt mark that traditionally signals Premier League safety. Their poor defensive record flys under the radar thanks to the reputation of Tony Pulis but they have only kept 1 clean sheet in the last 9 games and only 3 clean sheets in their last 19 Premier League fixtures going back to last season. Chelsea and Tottenham are next up for the Baggies and are likely to extend that poor sequence further.
Things don’t look much better at the other end of the pitch as their top scorer is the massively overrated Jay Rodriguez with 2 goals. He drew another blank this week which is hardly surprising as he averages a goal every 489 minutes in the Premier League this year. That uninspiring record is actually better than last years reliable 3rd Forward option Salomon Rondon who came off the bench to no avail against Huddersfield.
Another of last season’s decent picks Matt Phillips hasn’t played a full 90 minutes since GW4 and came off the bench for a single point haul on Saturday.
Newcastle United 1 – 0 AFC Bournemouth
Rafa Benitez took the unusual step of selecting both Joselu and Dwight Gayle in attack but both fired their now customary blanks in front of goal, although Gayle had a strike incorrectly ruled out for offside, tapping home after Matt Ritchie had hit the post with a long range effort.
Standout defender and Toon Captain Jamaal Lascelles went off injured early in the second half and that will be a concern going forward.
Matt Ritchie came close to scoring on a couple of occasions and he continues to look like the best angle into the Newcastle team, edging fellow wide man Atsu due to the formers set piece responsibilities.
Callum Wilson started his first League game since January and is definitely one to look out for moving forward. He was understandably a bit rusty and missed a glorious chance when clean through one-on-one. Wilson was given the nod in attack alongside Josh King who seems like a draft bust for many managers this term. The Cherries do however have a very favourable set of fixtures over the next 5 games which will give King the opportunity to prove his doubters wrong.
Jordan Ibe was handed another starting berth but has failed to gain any attacking returns since his 2 assists from the bench in GW5.
Andrew Surman earned an assist from a corner and is averaging over 4 PPG since Gameweek 4.
Southampton 0 – 1 Burnley
Southampton’s dreadful Home form continued as they failed to score for the 8th time in the last 12 League games at St Mary’s. Charlie Austin’s 25 minutes off the bench was the most action he has seen in a single Premier League match this season. The man he replaced on the pitch Manolo Gabbiadini looks a shadow of the figure that burst into the Saints side in January.
Sofiane Boufal started for the South Coast Club and in defence the second centre back spot alongside Virgil Van Dijk continues to be unpredictable with Maya Yoshida coming in for Wes Hoedt. Cedric Soares at right back hasn’t missed a lineup this campaign.
Sean Dyche continues to be linked with the vacant Everton job and can add another clean sheet and vital 3 points to his CV. Burnley don’t score many goals but concede even less. They have managed just 7 goals in their last 10 games but incredibly that’s brought the Clarets 4 wins and 4 draws in that time.
Chris Wood was back in the team but the real star of the Burnley side is their defence and in particular Bonus Point magnet Ben Mee who has earned 5 such points over the last 2 matches. In such low scoring games defenders have an increased chance of grabbing the Bonus spoils and Burnley’s regular back 5 have plundered 23 Bonus Points this season.
With struggling Swansea the visitors to Turf Moor in GW12 you could do a lot worse than picking up GK Nick Pope or DEF’s Mee, Ward, Lowton or Tarkowski.
Midfielder Johann Berg Gudmundsson picked up his 3rd assist in 4 games.
Swansea City 0 – 1 Brighton & Hove Albion
Swansea have now lost 3 in a row and 6 of their last 8 League games, winning just one. No surprise that they now find themselves in the relegation zone.
Far too reliant on Tammy Abraham, no other player has scored more than once for the Swans. They have only 7 goals in total in 11 matches.
Abraham aside they continue to offer little in way of attacking returns. Forward Jordan Ayew has started every match this season for 2.9 PPG and forgotten man Nathan Dyer played his first 90 minutes of the season against Brighton.
Winger Jose Izquierdo was given a 3rd consecutive start for the Seagulls in what seems a settled lineup.
The big surprise of the day was that a Brighton goal didn’t hand any points to Pascal Groß as Anthony Knockaert finally got his first assist of the season in what was a MOTM performance. 34 year old Glenn Murray has now scored 4 goals in his last 3 matches and Brighton have home fixtures against Stoke and Crystal Palace in the next 3 Gameweeks.
West Ham United 1 – 4 Liverpool
Sadio Mané owners rejoiced as the Midfield stud announced his return to action with a pair of assists. Unless of course they had him buried on their bench like I did. The Senegalese star averages 5.3 PPG which is all the more impressive when you consider he scored -2 Pts when he got sent off against Man City in Gameweek 4. In the games where he hasn’t been shown a red card his average rockets to a ridiculous 6.8 PPG. Mané has missed 5 games through suspension or injury so far and his return will further strengthen Liverpool’s devastating attack.
Fellow Fantasy Football Midfielder Mo Salah has 72 Pts this season already and the Reds also have Adam Lallana set to resume full first team training during the international break. With all the big guns certain to be taken in your draft league Lallana is an interesting angle into a Liverpool side who have 6 out of their next 7 games holding a Fixture Difficulty Rating of just 2. In an admittedly Mo Salah-less team last season Adam Lallana started 27 matches and averaged 4.5 PPG.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain enjoyed a rare start and scored his first League goal for his new Club while Jordan Henderson missed out with a minor injury. As ever Liverpool have a huge number of midfield options and seem capable of scoring goals whoever is in the team.
At the back Ragnar Klavan was preferred to the questionable recipient of Liverpool’s player of the month award Dejan Lovren who appears to have won the sympathy vote after receiving vile death threats to his family after some poor performances on the pitch.
Joe Gomez and Alberto Moreno were once again deployed at full back meaning Trent Alexander-Arnold, Andrew Robertson and 2016/17’s surprise performer James Milner continue to be unattractive options for Fantasy managers.
The pressure on West Ham boss Slaven Bilic further increases as the impressive results the team enjoyed under the Croatian in 2015/16 seem like a world away.
Michail Antonio missed out through injury but is expected back for GW12, even if Bilic may not be. Andre Ayew continued his fine personal form with an assist as Manuel Lanzini scored his first of an injury affected season.
The much heralded Javier Hernández has scored just twice in his last 9 League appearances whilst flop signing Marko Arnautovic had to settle for a place on the bench. He came on for the last 29 minutes and averages exactly 1 PPG this campaign.
Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 0 Crystal Palace
Spurs have 4 full backs that would be starters for most teams in the League. Great for them, not so great for Fantasy managers. Personally I shipped Kieran Trippier 3 weeks ago in favour of Burnley’s Stephen Ward as I couldn’t be doing with the unpredictability. Whoever gets the starting job can score big points but it’s whether or not you can handle the blank weeks. This time around Aurier was chosen ahead of Trippier and Danny Rose made his first PL appearance of the season instead of Ben Davies who potentially ruined Handcuffs by coming on for a brief 1 Pt cameo at the end.
Trendy Streaming pick Michel Vorm was not the man to replace Hugo Lloris after all. That job went to Paolo Gazzaniga. Just don’t remind FPL Robinson…
Heung-Min Son scored the winning goal after making his 4th consecutive start. He averages over 5 PPG over that spell.
Harry Winks seems to be taking up the Mousa Dembélé role in Spurs midfield, great performances translating into precious few fantasy points.
Despite spurning several chances in this game Crystal Palace have gone 8 consecutive away matches without scoring a goal. They now have a run of 8 fixtures without playing any of the Top 6 and if Wilfried Zaha is available in your league you should definitely consider picking him up.
Julian Speroni continued in goal ahead of Wayne Hennessey although Palace are the only team in the Top Flight without a clean sheet this season.
Manchester City 3 – 1 Arsenal
Manchester City’s star players are far too good to be up for grabs in Draft leagues with the fringe players Ilkay Gündogan & Bernardo Silva remaining just that. Both came off the bench for 1 Pt scores. Midfielder Fabian Delph started his 5th consecutive Gameweek at left back and averages precisely 5 Pts Per start.
Arsenal are similarly likely to provide slim pickings but if for some reason Aaron Ramsey hasn’t been taken he is the shining light of the Gunners midfield with 3 goals and 4 assists this season. He set up substitute Alexander Lacazette’s consolation goal here.
Jack Wilshere came off the bench and is one to keep an eye on after impressing in the Europa League.
Chelsea 1 – 0 Manchester United
With David Luiz left out of the Chelsea match day squad completely Antonio Conte started Andreas Christensen at centre back and then described the Dane as “the present and future for Chelsea”. Fantasy managers take note.
Both Willian and Pedro were on the bench, while Davide Zappacosta earned his second consecutive start and second consecutive clean sheet in the process. Summer signing Danny Drinkwater made a cameo appearance but will surely find consistent game time a struggle with N’Golo Kanté imperious as ever, Tiemoue Bakayoko finding his feet in midfield and Cesc Fabregas who had never started 5 League games in a row under Conte before this week, but had never started 4 in a row until last week either.
For United Andre Herrera made his 4th start in a row in midfield and Ashley Young was again the chosen one on the left of the defence. United played 3 centre halves including Chris Smalling who has started 5 consecutive games in defence, averaging 4.4 PPG in that time.
Everton 3 – 2 Watford
Everton are a difficult team to look to fantasy wise as they don’t have many goalscorers, don’t keep many clean sheets and don’t have a settled line up. With a new manager expected to be appointed over the international break the unpredictability is set to continue.
Youth team product Beni Baningime had his maiden Premier League start in defensive midfield but it unlikely to offer much in terms of fantasy points going forward.
Fellow academy graduate Jonjoe Kenny has started every game at right back during David Unsworth’s tenure as caretaker boss but a new manager may see things differently and besides Everton haven’t kept a League clean sheet since the opening day of the season. The Toffee’s kept 13 clean sheets last term and with rumours that Sean Dyche and Sam Allardyce are in the running for top job there should be plenty of discarded Everton defensive players that may see an upturn in Points. Leighton Baines is no longer the flying full back of yesteryear but with his set piece duties has previously been a fantasy football star and he scored the injury time winner from the penalty spot here.
Oumar Niasse wins no prizes for style but takes every award going for effort and has now scored 4 goals in just 287 minutes of League action this season. That’s a goal every 72 minutes! For comparison joint top scorers Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero average a strike every 108 minutes and 75 minutes respectively…
Young Forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin finally got his first League goal of the campaign with a fine header after coming off the bench for Wayne Rooney.
Watford striker Andre Gray was tipped in our Friday Free Agents article for GW11 and also this weeks edition of the consistently high performing FPL Robinson’s Streaming Tips series. Gray responded with an assist and a solid 5 Fantasy Points.
This season’s sensation Richarlison scored again with a neat finish after earlier missing a one-on-one when played through by Andre Gray in the first half. The Brazilian rounded the Everton keeper but couldn’t get the angle on the shot needed to find the net. Richarlison is the 7th highest scoring midfielder in the League on the Official FPL site but is classed as a Forward on www.draftfantasyfootball.co.uk where he ranks 5th League wide at that position.
Abdoulaye Doucouré is a Midfielder in all versions of the game and earned his 10th Bonus Point of the season, only Harry Kane and Sergio Aguero have more.
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